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Longtime university administrator John Gratton selected as president of NMSU Carlsbad

New Mexico State University President Barbara Couture has announced that John Gratton has been selected to be the next president of New Mexico State University Carlsbad.

John Gratton, the next president of New Mexico State University Carlsbad.
John Gratton has been selected as the next president of New Mexico State University Carlsbad.

Gratton will begin his new position Jan. 16. He is currently vice president for instruction at New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs.

"I am pleased we were able to attract a person with such outstanding credentials for this important role," Couture said. "President Gratton understands the vital challenges and opportunities at NMSU Carlsbad, and I am eager to see the impact he will have as leader of that campus."

Gratton will replace current NMSU Carlsbad President Russell Hardy, who became director of the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring & Research Center Jan. 1. In his new position, Hardy will lead the NMSU partnership with Los Alamos National Labs, Sandia National Laboratory and Washington TRU Solutions. Hardy served as president at NMSU Carlsbad for three years.

"Russell Hardy made a significant impact as the leader of NMSU Carlsbad, and I greatly appreciate his willingness to remain in the president's position until the search could be completed," Couture said.

Gratton has been in his current position at New Mexico Junior College since 2005. Prior to that, he was vice president of instructional services at Coastal Bend College in Beeville, Texas, from 2003-2005.

"It is with eager anticipation that I begin my tenure as president of NMSU Carlsbad," Gratton said. "Higher education in general is facing challenges in relation to decreasing state funding, changing accreditation processes, changing student demographics and national accountability measures. I look forward to working closely with President Barbara Couture, the NMSU Board of Regents, the NMSU staff, the students, faculty and staff of NMSU Carlsbad, and the Carlsbad community in confronting these challenges and continuing to provide the best possible educational experience that allows all New Mexico students to achieve their educational goals."

Gratton holds an Ed.D. in health education and physical education from East Texas State University. His master's is in physical education, also from East Texas State, and his bachelor's is in physical education from Oklahoma Baptist University.

He was vice president for Arts and Sciences at Coastal Bend College from 1999-2003, and held various other positions at that college from 1978-1999. He was an instructor at East Texas State University from 1976-1978, and was a graduate assistant there from 1971-1973 and 1975-1976. He taught in the public schools from 1973-1975.

As NMSU Carlsbad president, Gratton will earn a salary of $130,000.